Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Reduce What They Owe
Insurance companies make money by paying out less on claims than they bring in through insurance premiums. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to reduce the compensation they pay to claimants in the hopes of protecting their profit margins.
Sadly, tactics used by insurance companies are often unfair and can result in legal action if your claim is denied in bad faith. Here are some of the most unsavory tactics the insurance company could use to reduce what they owe you:
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Devalue Your Claim
Insurance companies use various strategies to devalue your claim and reduce their financial liability. Here are some of the most well-known practices you should be aware of:
Pressuring You to Settle Early
One of the top ways insurance companies trick injury victims into accepting less than their claim is worth is by pressuring them to settle their case early. In the aftermath of your accident, you may be fully aware of the tremendous financial burden you are facing. Having an insurance company swoop in and offer you a significant amount of money can seem like a lifesaver when you are struggling to cope.
However, when insurance companies contact you early on, it is generally because they recognize your claim’s value and hope to avoid paying out in full. If the insurance company can get you to settle your case early, they may be able to escape their total financial obligation.
Insurance adjusters are not going to be impolite; you may even find yourself wanting to share details with them about how the accident occurred. However, it is important that you direct the insurance company to your attorney when a settlement offer comes in. That way, you can be sure you are not being tricked or pressured into settling for less than you would otherwise be entitled to.
Delaying Claim Processing
Another way insurance companies reduce their financial liability is by delaying the processing of claims. You do not have time to waste while the insurance company handles your claim. You are dealing with massive medical expenses, need to get your vehicle repaired or replaced, and likely have other out-of-pocket financial losses.
If the insurance company delays processing your claim long enough, you may be tempted to settle for a lesser amount so that you can receive some compensation as opposed to none. For this reason, having your attorney step in and ensure the insurance company is processing your claim in the timely manner you are entitled to could help protect your insurance settlement.
Downplaying the Severity of Your Injuries
One of the top concerns of injury victims is being accused of overreacting when pursuing a lawsuit. Insurance companies may try to invalidate your injuries by arguing they are not as severe as you claim.
Insurance companies have also been known to mention that you failed to seek treatment in their argument for your injuries not being severe enough. So the sooner you obtain medical help after your accident, the better.
Insurance companies will look for any opportunity they can to get away with paying you less than you deserve. As long as you are aware of these tactics, you can be proactive and protect yourself.
Denying Your Claim in Bad Faith
Insurance companies repeatedly deny claims in bad faith. Bad faith practices are actions that mislead and deceive you when it comes to your claim. Some of the most common examples of denying a claim in bad faith include:
- Failure to disclose the full value of coverage
- Failure to notify you of claim deadlines
- Failure to provide you with necessary documents or forms
- Knowingly offering less than the claim’s value
- Purposefully misinterpreting the insurance policy language
- Being dishonest regarding insurance laws and the handling of your claim
- Refusing to pay out on a valid insurance claim
- Making threatening statements during the negotiation process
These are just a few examples of bad faith insurance practices. If you believe you have been mistreated or your claim was handled in bad faith, having your personal injury attorney confront the insurance company on your behalf may be in your best interest.
Get Help from a Personal Injury Lawyer in PA Today
You should never be taken advantage of by greedy insurance companies. Fortunately, when you have an aggressive Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer at Atlee Hall on your side, you can show the insurance company that you are taking your case seriously.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve. Contact our team for a free consultation today and get the legal advocacy you are entitled to. You can reach us through our quick contact form or by phone at (717) 393-9596 to get started.